By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The community is mourning the loss of another young life as a 14-year-old boy is gunned down in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood. The search is now on to find the gunman as city leaders search for the answers to the violence.

Eyewitness News has discovered a troubling trend involving gun violence and children in Philadelphia.

More than 20 juveniles lost their lives to firearms in Philadelphia this year alone. That’s almost double compared to last year.

Crime scene tape is left behind after the teen boy was shot in his chest and back on the 5900 block of Mascher Street in Olney on Thursday night.

Neighbors are outraged over another deadly shooting involving a child.

“Fourteen. He got his whole life ahead of him and he’s gone,” Greg Stroud said.

Data obtained by Eyewitness News shows 23 victims ages 17 and under were killed by gunfire in Philadelphia so far this year. That’s up from 12 children killed by guns during the same time last year.

“There are certainly reasons to expect rates of youth violence to be higher this year,” said Dr. Caitlin Taylor, an assistant professor of criminal justice and sociology at LaSalle University.

Taylor points out the legal system is not as good as preventing crime as schools, community centers and other types of so-called “informal social controls.” But those are now closed or scaled back because of the pandemic.

“Even just influential older folks that live in the neighborhood, who normally have lots of interactions with at-risk youth, don’t have those same types of interactions because of the global pandemic we’re continuing to suffer from,” Taylor said.

Neighbors in Olney are fed up with the gun violence.

“Put the guns down. Put the guns down, please,” Stroud said. “But it’s almost like it’s fallen on deaf ears.”

Police have not yet released a description of the suspect. Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives.


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